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Delayed diagnosis and treatment of a distal patellar tendon avulsion in an adolescent
  1. Gabrielle Allred1,
  2. Alfonso Arevalo2,
  3. Robert Brooks2 and
  4. Dustin Adam Greenhill3
  1. 1Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2PCOM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Orthopaedic Surgery, St Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dustin Adam Greenhill; dhg5{at}


Distal patellar tendon avulsions are uncommon. While much is known about proximal patella tendon ruptures, there are very few reports to guide treatment of a patellar tendon disruption near the tibial tuberosity. Moreover, delayed diagnosis and treatment presents additional challenges. We present a distal patellar tendon avulsion in an adolescent whereby diagnosis and treatment were delayed due to a distracting nearby contaminated wound. The tendon was separated from post-traumatic scar then repaired back to its native footprint using suture anchors. This report aims to increase awareness of this rare diagnosis as well as provide details about our chosen treatment and rehabilitation protocol.

  • orthopaedics
  • knee injuries
  • tendon rupture
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery

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  • Contributors GA: drafting, final approval. AA and RB: data collection, drafting, final approval. DAG: article conception, drafting, critical revision, final approval.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.